3132 Tasting Notes

84

Thanks to Indigobloom for sharing some of this little gem with me! I brewed some up during the day out of immense curiosity, and it was seriously delicious! The cilantro was present only as a delicious, refreshing flavour, and the mango as more of a background than a central note, but they combined for a really nice cup of white tea.

I let the second infusion go for closer to 3 minutes, and the flavours definitely emerged more, so since Indigobloom was generous enough to give me a bit to play with, I’ll try this on the first infusion next time.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

That sounds amazing!

Sil

can’t wait until i can taste again!

Indigobloom

hehe I am SO glad you like it Kittenna!!

Kittenna

Haha, yeah Sil, not much point to trying this one sans proper tasting ability. It has too much subtlety that would be lost.

Indigobloom

I agree with Kittenna, this would lose alot of nuance with tastebuds that are dampened

Sil

oh yeah..not touching it for a while even if i’m super excited to try it. I’m just hoping i’ll get to it before China heh for no other reason than i haven’t yet figured out what i’m doing about tea while i’m down there…

Indigobloom

you have a few weeks before China! I hope you internet access while over there!!

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86

Sipdown! Just in time for the new batch to arrive sometime next week! Also travel-mugged this one today and it was pretty satisfying during the early hours of boardgaming :D

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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96
drank Milk Oolong by Bon The Place
3132 tasting notes

My sincerest apologies – I’m going to be a bit of a tealogging machine in the next few minutes, because I haven’t logged any teas all day yet have been drinking them and playing board games/chatting with Sil, Indigobloom, and Raritea all day! And Steepster wasn’t behaving on my phone.

Anyhow, started off the day with an absolutely fabulous travel mug of this one. Probably one of the best cups I’ve brewed of it yet! Currently enjoying a re-steep as well, since these leaves have a lot left in them!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Cotton Candy Black Tea by 52teas
3132 tasting notes

Sipdown of the last of this one from Alphakitty. It’s certainly not as potent as what we got in the 12 Days of Christmas, but when the water hit the tea, up wafted the most delicious, sweet spun sugar aroma. Worth it just for that, haha.

And actually… I overleafed a little here, and I’m actually really enjoying it. This is definitely a blend much better consumed either lukewarm or cold, for the flavour to come out, and I do think Frank did a pretty good job of it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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77

Ooh, a tea that I haven’t yet tried! Also courtesy of Alphakitty, thanks! Also, oof, did I mention that I’m trying to hit 1200 tasting notes by the time my 1-year Steepster-versary rolls around, which is on Jan. 29? I have 37 to go….. yikes! I thought I had until the 31st, which would totally be more doable…. so hopefully I drink a crapton of tea tomorrow with Sil, Raritea, and Indigobloom!

So I really had no idea what osmanthus was, but when I sniffed this tea, it smelled sort of peachy. Since I was expecting floral, I assumed contamination… until I just read the tea description that mentions notes of peach! Awesome! Much more stoked to try this now, haha.

Strangely, the flavour reminds me quite a lot of 52teas’ Virgin Fuzzy Navel green… well, strangely until it occurs to me that Fuzzy Navel is orange/peach, not just citrus. (And then I read Alphakitty’s note which also mentions citrus…. go go tastebuds!!) So yes, the primary initial flavour is peachy/citrusy, which is tasty, and once those fruity flavours fade, I’m left with a really nice caramelly flavour, which I totally wasn’t expecting! I assume that it’s from the green tea.

So I’ll admit that this is another tea I wasn’t super stoked to try, but I’ve been proven wrong again. This, is tasty! And the sencha base is pretty good. So, I’m glad you sent me a sample of this one, Alphakitty!! And for those of you missing Virgin Fuzzy Navel, I’d suggest you give this one a shot. Perhaps it isn’t as strongly flavoured, but it’s hitting the same flavour combination for me!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

Osmanthus is a funny flower, since it does have floral qualities but it’s also citrusy and fruity! Glad you enjoyed it ^^

tea-sipper

Every time I see ‘osmanthus’ it reminds me of Ozymandias from Watchmen. ha.

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77
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
3132 tasting notes

Sipdown! Another sample from Alphakitty (Yeah, that’s right, look at me sipping things down! Woooooo!)

Partial cup of this one as well, because I didn’t leave quite enough for a full cup. No astringency, but I can taste hazelnut and chocolate, and it’s reasonably tasty. A little bit lacking in flavour, but still decent. I think I mentioned previously that this would be the most likely one for me to pick up (of Boston/Florence/Paris), but I probably wouldn’t again, as there are simply too many other desserty teas I enjoy more.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
3132 tasting notes

Deeeelicious. I didn’t have enough left of this one for a full cup, so I made half and do think that it has perhaps lost a touch of flavour… but it still tastes deliciously like a Bounty Bar. Eventually, I will acquire more of this one… Either way, SIPDOWN!

Thanks Alphakitty!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I have always assumed you lived in the US, but I am guessing you don’t since you say Bounty Bar instead of Mounds? :)

Kittenna

Haha, although I am American, I have lived in Canada most of my life, mostly in Saskatchewan and now Ontario!! :)

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45
drank Songyang White by Verdant Tea
3132 tasting notes

Ok…. in conclusion, I suck at brewing this tea. 172F for 20 (or was it 30?) seconds, and I’m literally getting tasteless water. There’s a hint… juuuuust a hint, of tastiness, but even with the fairly weak houji-genmaicha that I just drank, it’s too weak. Bleh. I think I have yet another cup’s worth of leaf left, but I’m about to give up. I’m sure that age is affecting this tea (although I see that JC logged this tea a month ago and clearly thought it was still ok).

ARGGGGHHHHHH!

ETA: Ok, half the water, 1-minute infusion at 175F for the second infusion. Best flavour yet, but it’s flirting with being too astringent. Oh! But there’s finally a nice aftertaste! Not enough for me though, unfortunately. I just don’t think this tea is for me (and it’s seemingly impossible to brew, haha, perhaps someone can offer a suggestion?)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Houji-Genmaicha by Den's Tea
3132 tasting notes

So, tonight I brought out my box of samples from Alphakitty and hung my head in shame that I have ridiculous amounts of so many of them left. Here I was wanting to make a Harney order, and I have at least 3-4 cups’ worth left of both Tokyo and Bangkok, plus 1-2 cups of Paris and Boston. SoHo blend is now gone (note forthcoming), but… still! Bad me. I should at least finish what I have before I get more.

Anyhow, apparently last time I tried this, the tea:water ratio, even with a 1 minute infusion, was too weak for me. Tonight, in spite of just having drank a wicked cup of Mayan Chocolate Chai…. my 30-second infused cup is quite tasty! Toasted and like genmaicha, but definitely sweeter and lacking any “green-ness”. It’s more like… just the rice, with a base that’s less apparent than the usual green genmaicha base. I should try a higher leaf:water ratio just for curiousity (this is super smooth, so I think there wouldn’t be any negative effects), but I’m happy how it is tonight.

Thanks Alphakitty! I’ve decided to tackle one swap box every week or so, and make as much progress in the evenings with it as possible. I have been neglecting my samples lately, and am worried that they’re all going to get contaminated! (My samples from tea companies are of course better packaged, so less chance of contamination).

ETA: Oops, neglected this one during its second infusion…. but I am pleased to report that a 2-minute second infusion in boiling water (about 1/3 of the original volume) results in a pretty darn delicious (small) cup! No astringency, just toasty sweetness. It reminds me an awful lot of puffed wheat, like in puffed wheat squares…. I like to eat that stuff by the handful, haha. Delish!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

Haha, I still have samples from you left to try as well! Don’t feel bad. I also sent you like 30 or something so I’d assume it would take a while to get through.

Kittenna

I’ve been neglecting my swap boxes sooooo much.

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93

Brewed this up alongside the Dragonwell-Style Laoshan Green that I also had to look at the differences. While the Laoshan Green definitely had the beany Laoshan Green flavour, this one was more subtle and was definitely less vegetal. Of course, the same thing happened with this cup as with the Dragonwell – I drank half, and it was then forgotten and therefore had to be chucked. Luckily I also still have some of this one left!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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